The boycott on Indiana extended even further on Monday, as more cities and even states have chosen to ban taxpayer funded travel to the state. In the state of Washington, Governor Jay Inslee has issued an administration wide ban on travel paid for by the state to Indiana. Nearby in Portland, Oregon, Mayor Charlie Hales, issued what is being called a temporary suspension of travel funded by the city.
This brings the number of bans of taxpayer travel into Indiana up to three cities (one of which is in a state now banning travel) and two states. In Washington, Inslee’s statement comes just a few days after the mayor in Seattle issued his own ban on travel. The governor pointed out a recent case in which a florist was sued for not providing service to a same sex couple for their wedding. In that case, a judge ruled that this refusal violated not only consumer protection laws but also the state’s own anti-discrimination laws.
Inslee invited any of the businesses that have halted expansions in Indiana to come to Washington. The governor said that the law in Indiana is allowing for private discrimination to be legalized. This is something he pointed out that his state has strongly fought against. Inslee said that in the state of Washington, they strongly support equality and he applauds all of the businesses, institutions and any other entities who have chosen to speak out against the new law. In inviting the businesses to his state, the governor said that, his was a state that welcomes all people.
Boycotts on the state of Indiana have also extended into the city of Portland. There, the mayor said that Governor Mike Pence has to understand that this blatant discrimination against his own people should never be allowed. Hales pointed out that as a country, we have moved beyond the shameful practices that litter the past. Although the stay of travel in Portland is only temporary as of now, the City Council on Wednesday, will get to consider the resolution, which would also call upon the business leaders, as well as the civic leaders to suspend travel to Indiana.
On Twitter and other forms of social media, protestors and critics of the RFRA signing, have taken to using #boycottindiana. While many are calling for protests or boycotts of the state, the Republican legislative leaders in Indiana have said that they are working on adding additional language to the bill that will give it more clarity. This comes after a weekend in which Governor Pence defended the law, but refused to answer direct questions about adding protections for LGBT people into the law.
The boycott of Indiana by both the city of Portland and the state of Washington, follow on the heels of not only other cities and Connecticut banning taxpayer travel, but also businesses that have called out the governor for signing RFRA into law. In every case, the law is described as being discriminatory in nature, as well as a way to stymie the progress of equality.
By Kimberley Spinney
Photo by OZinOH – Flickr License